Royal Caribbean Cruises and travel agency, Travel Masters, have come under fire from a passenger who was refused entry onto a New Caledonia-bound Legend of the Seas ship because he didn’t pack his passport, and now he’s trying to sue.
According to News Corp reports, former Gold Coast mayoral candidate John Abbott claims he was told he wouldn’t need his passport as he and his partner had no interest in disembarking at the international ports, and the cruise was a round-trip back to Oz.
Abbott launched the legal action with a whopping 20-page statement against both Travel Masters and RCL Cruises, which he submitted to the Southport District Court on January 24, per News Corp.
Abbott claims as a result of being refused entry to the cruise liner, he has suffered heart palpitations, an eating disorder, feelings of “helplessness and rejection” and even lost his relationship with his would-be cruising partner Laurel Brown, going their “separate ways” shortly after being denied access to the cruise ship.
The statement of claim accuses RCL and Travel Masters of breaching contracts and acting contrary to Australian consumer and migration laws.
Abbott claims he and Brown did not wish to get off at the ports of Island of Lifou and Isle of Pines, and so would require normal forms of identification like a license.
The 70-year-old however, was told upon arrival he needed a passport “to avoid unnecessary delays by immigrations officials during ship clearance”, the claim stated.
The claim also stated that Abbott received a letter from the Australia Borderforce in May last year that informed him he would not require a passport.
Abbott insists the action taken means he and his partner at the time missed a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to enjoy the “atmosphere of the ‘60s”, which was the cruise in question’s theme.
“As the promoter states (the cruise was) ‘a unique experience’ thus meaning it is not likely to happen again and Abbott was well aware of this when he and Brown booked the cruise,” the claim read, per News Corp.
Abbott also missed out on other “advertised delights” including spending the “pleasure cruise” with partner, Brown, it added.
“The contract is to provide enjoyment, relaxation and free from vexation but Abbott and Brown were denied this and instead the cruise became a cruise of regrets, dismay, frustration, alienated from his partner and friends, anger and a feeling of being denied unduly, rejected, the mystery of what have been and above all, missing out. These feeling persist and the memories linger unrelentingly,” it stated.
Now, Abbott is demanding a whole list of compensation, including a $750,000 “tax free” payment, two round-trip cruises for two people with limousine pick-up AND a chartered private jet to the cruises, should they leave from an interstate port.
He also is demanding up to $100,000 in spending money, on top of $33.04 reimbursement for travel expenses, the cost for the original trip and $169.11 in interest.